It’s well known that it is always illegal to take the property of another without that owner’s permission. However, the Arizona’s definition of theft goes far beyond this basic concept. But did you know that in Arizona, A person may actually break the law by taking possession of stolen goods, not inquiring as to who the proper owner of items is, or even taking preliminary steps to steal another’s property.
Any allegation of theft is a serious accusation. Even misdemeanor-level allegations can create a criminal record, hurt future employment opportunities, require a person to pay heavy fines, or spend time in jail. More severe allegations of theft may result in felony-level accusations where convictions can bring substantial prison terms.
A Chandler theft lawyer may be able to help you if you are facing charges related to theft. Whether these are misdemeanor or felony charges, an experienced defense attorney could help you to fight back against the prosecutor’s case.
Examples of Theft Under State Law
As a general concept, it is illegal to take the property of another person without that person’s permission. It does not matter if a person intends to later return the item, keep it for themselves, or destroy it. Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1802 provides examples that stretch beyond simple theft. It is also illegal to:
- Obtain the services of others through misrepresentation
- Refuse to pay a bill after receiving services
- Control property after having information that the property was stolen
- Come into possession of property without seeking out the true owner
The severity of the charges depends upon the value of the items allegedly stolen. Theft of items with a value of less than $1,000 is a class 1 misdemeanor where a conviction can result in a jail sentence of no more than six months. The most serious examples are thefts of property with a value of more than $25,000. Here, the charge is a class 2 felony. A Chandler attorney could provide more information about the State’s theft laws and how they could impact your case.
Potential Defenses Against Allegations of Larceny
Prosecutors in theft cases bear the burden of proving that the theft occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. This means demonstrating that the defendant possessed the items and that they did not have permission to do so.
Thankfully, there are numerous ways to contest these charges. The simplest way is to show that you never possessed the items in question. Another defense is possible if the defendant claims to have possession of the property by legal means. Evidence here may include a bill or sale or a receipt.
It may also be possible to contest the charges before the case goes to trial. Police officers may not conduct a search of a suspect without proper cause to believe that they have committed a crime. Similarly, they cannot search private property without a valid warrant. An accomplished Chandler larceny attorney could aim to exclude evidence by arguing that the police work that led to its discovery was illegal.
Let a Chandler Theft Attorney Protect Your Rights
Allegations involving theft are serious matters. The illegal taking of an item that carries any value is against the law and can result in a jail sentence. More serious convictions are likely to result in lengthy imprisonment.
A Chandler theft lawyer could help you to avoid these outcomes by investigating the incident, talking to witnesses, and challenging the legality of police work in the case. Contact our team now for reliable representation in navigating your case.